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DU not a place for riff-raff: HC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The University is not a haven for "riff-raff" and cannot be the "last refuge for scoundrels", but a place for free thinkers who want to learn, an anguished bench of the High said today.

While referring to last year's incidents when Faculty's Dean and professors were allegedly assaulted by some students, a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Najmi Waziri said the manner in which people were conducting themselves in the varsity, "all political activity there should cease".

"This is the angst we feel. There is a palpable need to secure the campus," the said and added that the University (DU) "cannot be the last refuge for scoundrels".

"Unruly behaviour with the Dean and teaching faculty is completely unacceptable. We won't condone it," the said and added "there is no place for all of this in the campus or the varsity. We cannot have this."

"The university is not a haven for all kinds of riff- raff. We won't permit it (DU) to degenerate into that," it said.

The bench also tore into the Delhi Police for not lodging an FIR till June 23 and waiting for a fact-finding report of the Faculty regarding the incidents of "unruly behaviour" against teaching staff, including Dean Ved Kumari.

"What were you (police) waiting for? Were you waiting for people to come to court and for fact-finding reports? Why did you not carry out an independent probe? Is police outsourcing everything? What have you done in the last eight months apart from transferring the case to another agency," the court asked.

It said that it wants the police to "act with alacrity" when a cognisable offence is reported or unfolds before it.

The bench said it wants the police to carry out an independent probe and file a detailed report within two weeks, and failure to do so would invite the "displeasure" of the court.

"We don't want you to rely on someone else's report. You are not going to peg your report on someone else's. Your constitutional mandate is to function independently," the court told the police.

The bench made it clear that the court was not concerned with petty politics and it was "not a platform for mud slinging or settling personal scores".

It said the affidavit to be filed by the police shall contain a detailed status report spelling out the steps taken since the occurrence of the "unsavoury incident" and listed the matter for hearing on August 9.

It also ordered the police to ensure round-the-clock security for the Dean of the Faculty of DU who had refused the offer of a personal security officer for herself.

The Dean had earlier told the court that there was lawlessness in the campus for the past one year and several complaints to the police had not been acted upon.

The bench was hearing a PIL initiated by it in regard to the reported violence during a protest by the Law Faculty students on May 19 against the Dean and other teaching staff for not being allowed to sit in the year's semester examination on grounds of shortage of attendance.

Similar incidents of unruly behaviour had occurred in November and December last year.

The court had earlier also pulled up the police for not taking any action when the protest turned violent, the Dean's office vandalised and threats were given to her in front of the cops.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 11 2017. 18:43 IST